National Young Writers’ Awards

I recently entered Explore Learning‘s National Young Writers’ Awards writing competition.

This years theme is The Future. I thought it sounded like a great theme and decided to approach it from a unique angle.

I opted to write about an interplanetary explorer who visits a place called Kross Krone- a planet inhabited by upright alien cats who fell in love with 21st century Earth. That way i could compare their planet (Earth now) with the Earth my interplanetary explorer is from.

Read my story below:

Untitled by Megan Grace Nicholson

Space Craft- The Mae Jemison
Earth Date- 3017
Ship’s Log.

There have been 18 new planets similar to Earth discovered just outside our Solar System, well that’s if you’d call 39 light years away ‘just outside’.

In days gone by, travelling to these places seemed unattainable but over the last millennium advancements in Science have placed these planets within our reach.

I am Margaret Mackintosh, ‘Mac’ to my comrades and i am an interplanetary explorer.

Despite the convenience of teleportation, my crew and i are hurtling through space to Kross Krone, a planet inhabited solely by a species of upright alien cats. They forbid the use of teleportation.

The species, known as Kwarbles developed an obsession with Earth during the early 21st Century. Since then they have spent all their time and resources turning Kross Krone into a replica of our beloved planet a thousand years ago.

Where our planet was forced to create synthetic water after the population boom of 2361, their planet is still thriving from their own rivers and lakes. Where all our pavements have become eco turfs, they are happy to use paving slabs- it truly is a sight to behold! Kross Krone houses many livestock and crops, something that hasn’t been done on our land for years. Our meat is harvested from cloned animals, we only ever grow the parts we require as we are no longer a wasteful society. Our crop is much the same although growth is monitored entirely by machines, human like robots known as Ersatz.

Kwarbles scavenged all our old electronics such as PC computers because mankind had developed biotic systems that synced with our own electronic impulses. The cats type out words to send messages to each other, it’s simply archaic but fascinating! They travel in cars much like our own but without the use of smart roads to keep them the correct distance or speed, they control this.. themselves!

The people of Kross Krone fell in love with many of our native animals and have spent years helping them thrive on their own planet. Due to their vast oceans, only a fraction smaller than Earths, they have been able to rehouse many of the beloved sea creatures we believed to have died out years ago.

Although the Kwarbles dislike modern technology, this passion for Earth’s animals has lead them to request cloning technology for long since extinct creatures such as dinosaurs which they would propagate on their sister planet Pterodore.

***

Uncharted Territory. 2020

In deep space a lost probe has encountered a black hole.

***

N.A.S.A 2020

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

“Sir, there is a message coming through. Columbus II has picked up a radio signal”

500 Words

I was really pleased to find out that my story made it through the first round of 500 words! What an incredible achievement!

I didn’t make it through to the top 50 but i’m so happy to be in the mix with the best 5000 that i don’t think it really matters, plus there is always next year!!

18403999_10158868712695105_4967884872658123038_o

My 500 Word Entry: Night Terror 

My breath caught in my throat, i could hear it again. That raspy, shallow breathing. I knew it wasn’t my parents or my little brother- they had gone away for the night. I was all alone in the house.

I was completely frozen in fear, i could feel myself getting hotter beneath the covers and now i desperately needed to scratch my ankle but i couldn’t, daren’t move.

If i move, it might see me. It can’t see me under the covers… can it?

I’ve heard the breathing every night now for over a month but up until this moment i thought it had been my brother messing around. Not anymore.

I finally muster enough courage to shift my body, i flex my foot as if it were an involuntary movement in my sleep. It lands against something solid. I could feel something, someone sitting at the bottom of my bed. I couldn’t help but let out a gasp.

A wash of white heat radiated down my spine, i could hear it right beside my ear now and knew my gasp have moved it closer to my face. Was it watching me?

“Is that it? Is that all she wrote?”

Molly stared at the bottom of the bed expecting to see something, anything. She clung tightly to the old journal she had been reading.

A hand etched upwards between the wall and the mattress, it’s rotting fingers walking, inching their way towards Molly. It’s broken, chipped nails snagging on the fabric.

With an intense internal shiver Molly leapt from the bed causing the hand to retreat from whence it came.

“I’m not staying here!” Molly declared as if to whatever entity was occupying the room and threw the journal onto the bed before making a start for the door.

The journal dropped silently beneath the bed frame where the darkness consumed it.

18320774_10158868771860105_335703199029647196_o

Reading Zone’s Picture Book Competition- making my book

I’m finally at the making stage of my book for Reading Zone’s Picture Book competition. It’s been so a long road but i can’t believe that i’m nearly at the end.

I went to Staples- now Office Outlet to print out my pages. The copier was having a hard time printing them out properly, i think that the loading area was off centre!

The assistant behind the desk ended up taking my USB and doing them directly from there. They all ended up with a slight border round them which i’m having to cut off- a small price to pay for having them printed central!

18121603_10158802498195105_2307113967667886864_o

It’s been lots of fun cutting out all the pages- although i’m left handed so this can sometimes be a bit of a chore!

18077036_10158797654420105_232483219899589199_o

It took me a couple of days to get everything cut out and stuck together but it was well worth it! I think it looks brilliant now that it’s all put together. 🙂

IMG_5041

If i don’t win the competition- i’m in it for the experience really so it doesn’t matter if i don’t, do you think i should try and publish my book instead? Would you buy it?

World Book Day

Happy Christmas to me!! Well it is World Book Day and in my house that’s like celebrating Christmas!

We look forward to it every year, we plan activities and clothes in advance, and it’s gone in the blink of an eye.

16904907_10158518127190105_456221416644924613_o

This year i’ve had a hard time choosing who i want to dress up as- i’ve read so many wonderful book this year!

In the end i opted for 4 different characters who i enjoyed reading about.

Above is Poppy/ Matilda from Shadow House.

Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

17097558_10158517025910105_351149516190816688_o

Lorelli from The Thornthwaite Inheritance.

17038932_10158517987065105_3932584370463941355_o

And because i wont let gender dictate who i dress up as, Adam Meltzer from Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie.

Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show Day 2

We were invited to return to the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show on any day after the exhibition opened and as we enjoyed it so much the first time i decided to take my best friend Katie back the following Saturday.

IMG_4130

I wanted to show her all the cool things i’d tried when i filmed the promo video, i knew she’d definitely enjoy them too!

We hit the Visit Wales display first where ‘Penguin’ showed us how to make a camp fire, he was very informative and friendly. He was such a nice guy that he let us borrow the microphone…. so i decided to interview Katie! Well, why not?

02

‘Penguin’ loved my interview with Katie so much, he let me interview him too! I asked him questions about the show and how many visitors they’d had.

After learning how we could survive in the wild, we decided to take a peek at the Lego caravan- yes a caravan built entirely out of Lego!! There were a lot of people viewing it too so we didn’t really manage to get a great look but we loved the Lego themed seats arranged near it.

Here’s a picture of me and Katie pretending to be Lego people:

04

I wish i could have brought one of these home- they’d look awesome in my garden!

Next we visited the stand for Crealy: My FAVOURITE place to visit on holiday! I love going to Crealy. I love the slides, the climbing walls, the animals, the lake, the tree houses, the bridges. I used to love the mini village but they took that out- i don’t know if they ever returned it.

I think the tree houses and bridges are my favourite…. but then again i love running around the big soft play area.

IMG_4131

They have new lodges and a special meadow lands where you can stop at the park- that’s really cool and i would have booked there and then but i don’t earn money so i couldn’t!

The lodges have built in hot tubs in their decking- i’m just leaving this here for you to know.

If i didn’t live so far away i’d get an annual pass. A girl can dream.

03

Next, me and Katie decided it was time to pick the caravan we would buy. This was by far not an easy choice because all the newest and best caravans were on display. Did we want a campervan, a motorhome, a static caravan or a lodge?

After a while of going in and out of different caravans- of all shapes and sizes we finally got to the Willerby stand. FYI- our family favourite maker of caravans.

07

Willerby is running a lovely campaign at the moment, they’ve decided to help our friends the Willer-bees!!

They were giving away wild flower seeds to plant to encourage bees to come into the garden, which is good because the bee population has decreased over the years and this is bad- we NEED bees!

08

We found our perfect holiday home. It turns out that is Willerby’s Mulberry Lodge.

It is STUNNING!

I loved everything about this lodge. The layout, the colour scheme. It was very elegant and sophisticated. It was beautiful and i didn’t actually want to leave it!

So… i didn’t. At least for a little bit.

Do you like our balloon model Willer-bees?!

IMG_4132

We found the perfect spot to watch the dog agility- look at the view we have in here!

 

 

 

The Caravan Show NEC and meeting Barney Harwood

I was lucky enough to get to film a promo video for the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at the NEC in Birmingham this February.

Myself and ten other children got to try out the attractions, discovery areas and demonstrations before anybody else. It was so cool!

AHPO7672

We had to be there super early when the NEC was empty of visitors which was actually really great- there weren’t a lot of people or a lot of noise!

I was super pleased to help film the promo video because i love Caravans. Like my Mummy, i’m a connoisseur of caravans! I really love them, i always look forward to seeing the new styles at the beginning of the year so i was thrilled to get a real first hand look.

megan caravan camp show

My favourite holiday home at the show was the Mulberry Lodge- it was stunning!

See the promo video below:

Not only did i get to film a video to promote the show, go an all the cool attractions before anyone else and have a total blast roaming the NEC, i also got to meet Barney Harwood!

9

That’s right. The man, the legend. Barney Harwood.

Obviously if you’ve followed my Blog or my Twitter you’ll know that i appeared on Blue Peter in 2015 after reading 365 books in 10 months aged just 5 years old. Back then Lindsey Russell came to Coventry to interview me. Last year i got to meet Radzi Chingyanganya- nicest guy ever! But meeting Barney, wow, i mean wow!! He’s basically the face of kids TV, my Mummy used to watch him, my Uncles used to watch him and now i watch him!

Megan Grace Nicholson Blue Peter Radzi Lindsey Barney

From Blue Peter to Bear Behaving Badly to Totally Doctor Who, Barney has been the face of CBBC for ages! It was a dream come true to meet him. 🙂

IMG_3945

Best of all though is that Barney knew who i was! He KNEW me! I have never felt so star stuck and completely at ease with someone as i did meeting Barney.

He came into the room full of smiles, making sure to say hello to everyone and when he spotted me he said across the room “Hello Megan!”- A-MAZE-ING! He even took a selfie of us to send to Radzi!! If i could have been melting on the floor for excitement i would have been.

He came and chatted to us for ages before and after filming the promo, he was so nice to talk to and he really made sure to learn everyone’s names, talk to them the whole time and find out who they were. He was so awesome!

IMG_3950

 

 

Harry Potter Book Night

I love Harry Potter Book Night don’t you?

It’s the perfect excuse to dig out your Harry Potter books and give them a re-read or if you’re like me and new to the series get started on book one and see where you end up!

16402682_10158363652185105_1756737195912697522_o

This year my Mummy really went to town on the decorating and getting involved with the evening. She knew that i was using this evening to finally start the series and she wanted to give me a fully immersive experience.

16403434_10158382296010105_2127186164781953384_o

My Hogwarts letter arrived this morning along with my owl and some potions!

Lots of letters flew out of my chimney- yes really. Mummy really got the letters to look like they were flying out of the fireplace!

IMG_3622

Mummy dressed up as Professor McGonagall to take me and my best friend Katie to Harry Potter Book Night at our local library- that’s commitment!

IMG_3584

Here we are at the Library ready to take part in their evening of activities. OK so we were the only people dressed up and there weren’t actually many decorations up- that’s funding cuts for you! People don’t understand how much we need and appreciate our libraries- that’s really sad.

IMG_3629

I topped my night of with a pair of pretty cool Harry Potter jammies and Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.